The Lost Apothecary
“It was beginning to seem like every person, every place, carried an untold story with long-buried truths resting just beneath the surface.”
Thank you, Park Row Books, for gifting me a copy of The Lost Apothecary to read and review!
“Rule #1: The poison must never be used to harm another woman. Rule #2: The names of the murderer and her victim must be recorded in the apothecary’s register.
One cold February evening in 1791, at the back of a dark London alley in a hidden apothecary shop, Nella awaits her newest customer. Once a respected healer, Nella now uses her knowledge for a darker purpose—selling well-disguised poisons to desperate women who would kill to be free of the men in their lives. But when her new patron turns out to be a precocious twelve-year-old named Eliza Fanning, an unexpected friendship sets in motion a string of events that jeopardizes Nella’s world and threatens to expose the many women whose names are written in her register.
In present-day London, aspiring historian Caroline Parcewell spends her tenth wedding anniversary alone, reeling from the discovery of her husband’s infidelity. When she finds an old apothecary vial near the river Thames, she can’t resist investigating, only to realize she’s found a link to the unsolved “apothecary murders” that haunted London over two centuries ago. As she deepens her search, Caroline’s life collides with Nella’s and Eliza’s in a stunning twist of fate—and not everyone will survive.”
Told in a mix of historical fiction and fantasy, this novel transported me into a world that was completely new to me. Being a fan of Schitt’s Creek, I often associate the word “apothecary” with the shop that David owns. But, thanks to Penner’s new book, I have an even better idea as to what an apothecary shop used to look like.
The Lost Apothecary was told through the eyes of two women who were 200 years apart. I enjoyed the chapters that focused on Nella and Eliza – I honestly could’ve read an entire book dedicated to those two characters. I struggled during Caroline’s chapters as I did not relate to her at all. I appreciated that she was taking the time for herself and to figure out what she wanted but there was just something about her character that left me detached. Towards the end, I skimmed most of Caroline’s chapter and savored the chapters devoted to Nella and Eliza.
Overall, I did enjoy reading The Lost Apothecary and would encourage you to pick it up and read the novel for yourself! This book was published on March 2, 2021, and is available to order now!